Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said he is confident that Judge Neil Gorsuch will be quickly confirmed to the Supreme Court and expects to carry out the process again before the next presidential election, the Washington Examiner reported.
When asked which seat he thought would open up, Grassley joked that "Oh, I wouldn't answer that. If I answered, for some it'd be like hoping they die."
By the time President Donald Trump's term ends, three justices would be at least 78 years old, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who would be 87.
Speaking about Gorsuch, Grassley said he did not know of any Republican opposition to his nomination and predicted a confirmation with "a lot more than a majority but significant opposition." He stressed that Democratic senators will find it difficult to vote against him once they have met with him, insisting that he is a mainstream judge.
Some Democrats have said their party should mount a filibuster to stymie the nomination, NBC News reported.
Republicans in the Senate have the majority to confirm Gorsuch but lack the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster.
Grassley told Politico that the usual process to prepare for the confirmation hearings should be finished by mid-March and that if Gorsuch is not confirmed before Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's stated goal of Easter, then he should be ready to cancel the recess, which is scheduled for the weeks of April 10 and April 17.
Grassley said the confirmation hearing will take three days. It will open with the nominee listening to Judiciary Committee members without making any remarks, followed in the next session by Gorsuch facing a full day of questions and concluding on the third day with outside witnesses testifying about him.
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